Just how proposal teams can drive sales productivity and improve outcomes (with a free email template)

“I don’t get no respect. ” – Rodney Dangerfield

At RFPIO, we often declare proposal managers are the unsung heroes of their organizations. Proposal teams spend hours, days, and even months crafting ideal responses, yet who gets credit for the wins?

In siloed organizations, both suggestion and sales teams possess vital roles to play within the response process, but it’ s often the sales team that gets credit for closing the deal. Why is that? How do proposal managers prove their own worth in a siloed corporation? Can sales and suggestion teams set their rivalries aside and recognize that their goals are not just aligned, but identical?

Don’t misunderstand me; I would never throw shade at sales teams. They’re critical to any business, including ours. However , if an organization regularly receives RFPs, RFIs, RFQs, or RFTs, a fervent proposal team with a professional proposal manager frees sales teams to make more connections and close more deals. In other words, everybody wins.

Still, like the late, great, Rodney Dangerfield, proposal managers often don’t get a lot of regard. Oftentimes, their ideas are dismissed as uninformed or out of touch, if they even get a seat at the table – after all, it’s sales who has their collective ear to the ground.

Maybe, yet a good proposal manager is really a fountain of knowledge. In many cases, they will know more about their corporation than the founders. Additionally , the particular RFPs themselves offer essential insights into customers’ priorities and pain points that will sales may not be aware of.

Therefore , now that you know how useful you are, how can you convince your company? What role really does a proposal manager play in their organization?

In my upcoming May 19th webinar, I will talk about the steps you can take in order to prove your worth. In this blog post, I’ll outline some of the challenges the proposal supervisors we work with face, and I will give you an email template using the information your boss must see to validate your position.

Are proposal managers part of the sales team?

The short answer to whether proposal managers are part of the sales team is, maybe. The longer answer is it typically depends on the size and structure of their company. In most small and medium-sized companies, proposal managers answer directly to the director of product sales, business development, or marketing.

In larger organizations or enterprise companies, the offer manager could be part of income management or finance.

Do you feel like you’re pushing boulders by yourself?

We’ve all heard the story of Sisyphus, the ancient Greek king, who, as the legend goes, was penalized by Zeus for cheating death. The punishment has been to push an immense boulder up a hill, only each time, the boulder rolled back down the slope right before Sisyphus reached the very best.

I’m sure a lot of you can relate to Sisyphus. While your boulder is metaphorical, it’s every bit as frustrating whenever you’re trying to do the heavy lifting but you aren’t having the support you need.

When product sales hands the RFP away to proposal management, often times, they wash their fingers of it. Sales, however , need to remain part of the process. Maybe a salesperson or pre-salesperson was the catalyst for the RFP – in that case, they’re a topic matter expert on the client.

Sales should also help art the proposal, and ensure that every the customers’ priorities are met before submitting the ultimate bid.

How to bring product sales and proposal management jointly

In too many cases, sales teams forget about RFPs the second they are handed off for their proposal management team. Yet isn’t sales as vested in the outcome as anyone? A win for the proposal team is a win for the sales team, and vice versa.

I will get into more details in the webinar, but fostering communication and de-siloing the particular sales and proposal administration teams will help create a lot more wins for the teams and the company as a whole.

How to encourage leadership to keep you knowledgeable

Communication is the cornerstone of response management processes. Being a repository for a company’s past and current content, RFPIO’s Answer Library can immediately generate answers for up to 80% of an RFP’s queries.

Yet what about the future? Perhaps there is an exciting new acquisition that will make your company more appealing to the consumer, or maybe the company is downsizing and can’t deliver in the requirements.

Perhaps there is something which is a bit less newsworthy but nonetheless impacts the response to a good RFP. For example , the company might have switched vendors, affecting the expenses. Let’s go with an example that will isn’t so hypothetical: The worldwide supply chain problems could potentially affect every aspect of an RFP, yet if a response manager doesn’t know how the company is addressing supply string issues, it’s nearly impossible to formulate an accurate response.

And it’s tough to imagine that the particular sales team wouldn’t want to be portion of the pricing discussion. Additionally , offer managers need reports on their teams’ efforts as much as product sales managers do.

If you are not quite sure how to encourage the sales manager to invite you to sales conferences, here is an email template which has worked for several of our customers:

Hi boss name,

I’m writing to request an invite to the sales team’s weekly sales huddles and pipeline meetings.

As the proposal supervisor, I’m responsible for crafting a compelling proposal that resolves our clients’ problems. The sooner I’m clued into the standing of open opportunities, the earlier I can start researching our client—and the more compelling suggestion I can write.

To put a number on this:

      • Total money value of proposals won within [last year]:
      • Total buck value of proposals lost in [last year]:

Simply by joining sales conversations early on, I am confident I can increase our own proposal win rate—and help push deals deeper to the sales cycle.

Looking forward to seeing you in the first conference!


Your Name

In case you are feeling left out of the discussion, join me on Might 19, 2022, as we talk about challenges and methods for bringing the proposal team back into the fold.

The post How proposal teams can drive sales efficiency and improve outcomes (with a free email template) appeared first on RFPIO .

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